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Backstage at Toni Maticevski’s Resort 2016 Fashion Week show 

When we say it’s been a spectacular year for Toni Maticevski, we mean both the man and the brand. The Melbourne-based designer, who was the toast of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in May with his epic-scale opening show, has just been named winner of the country’s most prestigious fashion prize.

“I’m overwhelmed – I didn’t expect it at all,” he told GRAZIA of winning the 2016 Australian Fashion Laureate Award, following in the footsteps of past winners like Collette Dinnigan, Carla Zampatti, Akira Isogawa and former Vogue editor Nancy Pilcher.

“I admire all of the people that were nominated for working their asses off as much as I do,” he added graciously of the other top award finalists – Dion Lee, Kym Ellery, Alex Perry and Edwina McCann – when speaking to GRAZIA after his endearingly short and humble acceptance speech.

Toni Maticevski Resort 2016 runway show at MBFWA
Credit: Getty Images

Given his brand – with its signature meticulous tailoring and complex drapery – is now stocked in more than 100 locations worldwide, there’s almost an expectation he will follow other successful Aussie designers and relocate to an overseas base.

But that’s not the case. Rather, he told us, his focus for the next year is expanding his international business from here and reinvigorating his love for creating beautiful women’s clothing. “I just want to focus on the business for a little bit, stop doing projects and have time to enjoy and reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve.

“We’ve been so busy that we’ve all just missed the love of why we’re doing it.”

So how was Maticevski celebrating today’s win? “I’ve got meetings the rest of the afternoon.” Seems the 39-year-old’s not ready to take his foot off the accelerator and enjoy the ride quite yet.

See our review of the Toni Maticevski Resort 2017 show here.

Maticevski with last year’s Laurate winner, Nancy Pilcher, former Vogue Australia editor-in-chief and Vice President of Conde Nast Asia/Pacific
Credit: supplied

The full list of finalists and winners for 2016


Winner: Toni Maticevski

Alex Perry

Edwina McCann

Dion Lee

Kym Ellery


Winner: Ellery

Dion Lee

Toni Maticevski

Romance was Born



Winner: Strateas.Carlucci


M.J Bale

P.Johnson Tailors

Song for the Mute     


Winner: Macgraw

Christopher Esber

Ex Infinitas

Kacey Devlin

P.E Nation


Winner: Parlour X (NSW)

Cue (NSW)

Harrolds (VIC)

Incu (NSW)

Jac & Jack (NSW)

The Australian Fashion Awards, presented by the NSW Government and IMG, were held at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House.